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Algerian prosecutor refers former PMs to supreme court over alleged…

ALGIERS ( ) – An Algerian prosecutor has asked the supreme court to investigate two former prime ministers and eight former ministers for alleged corruption, state television reported on Sunday, citing a statement from the prosecution.

Mass protests broke out in Algeria earlier this year demanding the removal of the ruling elite and the prosecution of people ,夜上海论坛Caden,demonstrators regard as corrupt.

Most of the 10 politicians named by the public prosecution served in the cabinet just before President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned on April 2 after pressure from protesters and the army.

The two former prime ministers are Ahmed Ouyahia and Abdelmalek Sellal, who was also Bouteflika’s election campaign manager, according to the list broadcast by state television.

The former government ministers on the list are Amara Benyounes, Abdelakader Zaalane, Amar Ghoul, Karim Djoudi, Abdessalam Bouchouareb, Boudjemaa Talai, Amar Tou and Abdelkader Bouazghi.

The,上海夜网后花园Idaia,y were in charge of the sectors of trade, transport, public works, finance and,上海夜网Sabrina, industry, transport, high education and agriculture respectively.

Their lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.

The army is now the most powerful institution after the departure of Bouteflika, who had ruled the North African country since 1999.

Army chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah has said major corruption cases would be pursued to try to calm the protests which started on Feb.22.

Bouteflika’上海夜生活论坛s youngest brother, Said, and two former intelligence chiefs have been placed in custody by a military judge for “harming the army’s authority and plotting against state authority.”

At least five prominent businessmen have also been detained pending trial over involvement in corruption cases.

Protesters also want the resignation of interim president Abdelkader Bensalah and Prime Minister Noureddine Beoui, who are considered as part of the ruling elite that has run the country since independence from France in 1962.

Mueller probing Trump’s attacks on attorney general: Washington Post

WASHINGTON ( ) – The special counsel in the Russia probe is ,上海夜网官方网站Idaleen,investigating a period of time last summer when President Donald Trump seemed determined to push Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is looking into whether Trump’s apparent effort to drive Se上海夜网ssions from his job was part of a pattern of attempted obstruction of justice, the Post said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Mueller’s team, which is investigating alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, has questioned witnesses about Trump’s private comments in late July and early August, around the time he issued a series of tweets belittling Sessions, according to the Post.

Mueller is seeking to determine whether Trump’s goal was to oust Sessions in order to pick a replacement who would exercise control over the investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, the Post said.

Russia has denied meddling in the campaign and Trump has denied any collusion took place.

The White House and the Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the Post,上海夜网千花Barrett, story.

Trump and Sessions have had a rocky relationship since Sessions recused himself a year ago from the Justice Department’s Russia probe. The recusal paved the way for the appointment of Mueller, who has indicted several former Trump campaign aides and advisers.

On Wednesday, Trump skewered Sessions about his decision to order the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate allegations that the Federal Bureau of Investigation improperly obtained a warrant to conduct surveillance on a former Trump campaign adviser.

Trump said in a tweet that Session’s decision not to use prosecutors to investigate the matter was “DISGRACEFUL.”

Sessions, an early supporter of Trump’,上海夜哪里艳遇Cadence,s 2016 presidential campaign, responded with a terse statement in which he pledged “to discharge my duties with integrity and honor.”

Chilean police break up migrant human trafficking ring

SANTIAGO ( ) – Chilean prosecu上海夜生活网tors are indicting at least 10 people over their alleged links to a human trafficking ring that smuggled hundreds of Chinese migrants into Chile after charging them $5,000 apiece for tourist visas, local media reported on Saturday.

Chile’s foreign ministry confirmed in a statement there had been an investigation into a human trafficking r,上海夜网官方网站Caden,ing operating in 2016 and 2017 but gave no further details.

The trafficking ring included several local and provincial politicians, as well as other government employees, crime prevention deputy secretary Katherine Martorell told local daily La Tercera.

“This is the largest migrant trafficking network that has ever existed in our country,” Martorell told the newspaper.

In all, 381 Chinese citizens were smuggled into the country illegally by the group in 2016 and 2017, according to the reports.

Martorell said some of the migrants were conned, while others had been abandoned or otherwise put in danger. Some had since departed for other countries in Latin America, she said, while others were in the process of seeking permanent residency.

Chile, a relatively isolated Pacific coast nation, has increasingly become a top destination for both legal and illegal migration from poverty-stricken nations in Latin America and further afield.

The n,上海高端夜生活在那里Babette,ation has the highest gross domestic product per capita in South America, low levels of corruption and the lowest murder rate, according to figures from the World Bank and InSight Crime, a foundation,上海夜生活网交流Idaline, that analyses organized crime.

Immigration into Chile has increased sixfold in less than 30 years, from 114,500 in the 1992 census, to 746,465 last year.

Israelis protest moves to grant Netanyahu immunity, limit Supreme…

TEL AVIV ( ) – Thousands of Israelis protested on Saturday against legislative steps that could grant Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu immunity from prosecution and limit the power of the country’s Supreme Court.

The demonstration in Tel Aviv was attended by nearly all opposition parties, a rare show of unity for Israel’s splintered political system. Police did not say how many people attended. A photographer estimated about 20,000 were present, while organizers put the figure at 80,000.

In office for the past decade, Netanyahu won a fifth term in April despite an announcement by Israel’s attorney general in February that he intended to charge him with fraud and bribery. The prime minister is a suspect in three graft cases.

Netanyahu has denied wron,夜上海419龙凤论坛Hadleigh,gdoing, calling the allegations a political witch-hunt. The right-wing leader has said that with a renewed public mandate to govern he has no plans to resign, even if charged.

Although the prime minister is under no legal obligation to step down if charged, Netanyahu loyalists in his Likud party have pledged to seek parliamentary immunity from prosecution for him while he is in office.

Expecting legal challenges, they also have been advocating legislation that would annul any Supreme Court ruling rescinding immunity.

Since the election, Netanyahu has not said whether he would seek immunity.

On May 13, Netanyahu said on Twitter that his policy had always been to preserve a strong and independent Supreme Court, but that changes were needed in order to restore balance between Israel’s executive, legislative and judiciary branches.

The opposition has described any attempt to shield Netanyahu or put limitations on Israel’s highest court as threats to Israeli democracy.

Yair Lapid, one of the leaders of the main opposition party, the centrist Blue and White, said on Saturday at the demonstration that Netanyahu was trying to crush the Supreme Court in order to keep out of prison. “He’s destroying the country,” Lapid said. “We won’t let him.”

Netanyahu is trying to form a new coalition with right-wing, ultranationalist and religious parties that would give him control of 65 of the 120 seats in parliament, which has already been sworn in.

Most of the parties expected to join his coalition have expressed support for granting immunity to Netanyahu and limiting the powers of the Supreme Court, branded by some rightists as too liberal and interventionist.

However, Netanyahu has only until Wednesday to produce a government and he has not yet secured a deal with any party. Negotiations came to an impasse this week when the factions faile,上海夜生活Lance,d to agree on a new conscription law for Israel’s military.

According to Israeli law, if Netanyahu fails to form a government by May 29 the president can ask another member of the Knesset legislature to try.

No political party has ever won an outright majority in Israel’s Knesset, making coalition governments the norm. Coalition talks have often been protracted with deals s上海夜网igned at the very last minute.

Netanyahu is due to attend a pre-trial hearing over the graft charges with the attorney ,上海仙霞路夜生活Dahlia,general, set for October.

Kurdish MPs, prisoners end hunger strike in Turkey

ISTANBUL ( ) – Several Kurdish lawmakers and thousands of prison inmates in Turkey have ended their hunger strike, heeding a call from jailed militant leader Abdullah Ocalan, MPs said on Sunday, 200 days after the protest was launched.

The decision removed a source of tension in mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey after Ankara let Ocalan meet his lawyers this month for the first time since 2011, triggering speculation about possible fresh efforts to end conflict in the region.

Pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmaker Leyla Guven began a hunger strike in November in a bid to end Ocalan’s years of isolation by securing him regular access to his family and lawyers.

“Comrades who have committed themselves to hunger strikes and death fasts, I expect you to end your protest,” Ocalan said in a statement read out by one of his lawyers at a news conference in Istanbul on Sunday morning.

Ocalan h,上海夜网Radley,as been held in an island prison since Turkish special forces captured him in Kenya in 1999 and is revered among Kurdish HDP supporters who see him as key to any peace process.

On Wednesday, the lawyers visited him for the second time this month. Authorities had repeatedly rejected earlier requests to visit him, citing reasons including ship repairs and poor weather.

In Diyarbakir, the southeast’s largest city, a hunger-striking MP announced the end of the protest at a news conference. Hunger strikers’ mothers, wearing white headscarves, applauded and chanted in Kurdish “long live the prison resistance.”

The lawyers’ visits resumed a month before a re-run of the Istanbul mayoral election and prompted speculation of steps toward a new peace process four years after Ankara’s talks with Ocalan on ending conflict in southeast Turkey fell apart.

However, Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul has denied there is any connection.

Some commentators have suggested the decision to allow lawyers to visit Ocalan could be an attempt to win over Kurdish voters by the AK Party.

In March’s Istanbul mayoral election, the HDP supported the opposition candidate who narrowly beat President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party candidate.

Election authorities annulled the vote, citing irregularities. The HDP has indicated it will again support the opposition in the June 23 election re-run.

Kurds make up around 1,上海凤楼夜网Lake,5 percent of Istanbul’s population of more than 15 million and mostly vote for either the pro-Kurdish HDP or the AK Party.

OCALAN OFFERS ROLE ON SYRIA

Before being transported t,上海高端夜生活在那里Dalton,o hospital by ambulance, Guven said the hunger s上海夜生活trike had achieved its goal.

“But our struggle against isolation and our struggle for social peace will continue in all areas. This struggle must lead to an honourable peace,” she said in a written statement.

Ocalan is the founder of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), designated a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union and United States.

His lawyer Newroz Uysal cited him as saying Ankara’s permission for lawyers to meet him did not mean there was a negotiation process. But Ocalan said he was ready to play a positive role on issues concerning Syria.

Earlier in May, Ocalan called on the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to resolve disputes in Syria without conflict. Ankara views the YPG militia, which forms the core of the U.S.-backed SDF, as part of the PKK.

Guven was joined on hunger strike by three more MPs, around 3,000 inmates in prisons across Turkey and activists abroad, according to her party, the third largest in parliament.

The HDP said seven people, six in Turkish prisons and one in Germany, had killed themselves in March in protest against Ocalan’s isolation. Guven had been consuming water, vitamins and sugar during the hunger strike.

The PKK launched a separatist insurgency in southeast Turkey in 1984. More than 40,000 people have been killed in fighting since, mostly Kurds.

In November 2012, Ocalan made a similar call to end a hunger strike by prisoners. A month later it emerged that he was in talks with Ankara on a peace process.

Those talks and a ceasefire broke down in 2015, unleashing some of the worst violence since the insurgency began. Erdogan’s AK Party has since formed an alliance with nationalists who revile Ocalan and who fiercely opposed the peace process.

Houthi leader says drone attacks a response to spurned Yemen peace…

DUBAI ( ) – A leader of Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi movement said on Sunday it had resumed drone strikes deep inside Saudi Arabia this month in response to what he called the Saudi-led coalition’s spurning of “peace initiatives” by his group.

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi dismissed Saudi accusations that the attacks had been carried out on the orders on Iran – at a time of growing tension between Tehran and Riyadh alongside its Western and regional allies.

“We are independent in our decisions and … we are not subordinated to anyone,” al-Houthi told by phone.

Saudi Arabia, leading a Western-backed Sunni Muslim coalition, intervened in neighboring Yemen in 2015 after the Houthis ousted the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi from power in the capital Sanaa.

The Houthis have stepped up attacks on the kingdom in the past two weeks – including a drone strike on two oil pumping stations near Riyadh – in a resurgence of tactics that had largely subsided since late last year amid U.N.-led peace efforts.

In the first statement on the attacks from a senior figure, al-Houthi told the movement had agreed to halt ,上海夜生活乌托邦Daisy,raids last year “in good faith” and had been ready to take more steps.

“But unfortunately the aggres,上海夜网千花Babette,sor countries misinterpreted these efforts (as weakness) and regarded them with contempt and indifference,” al-Houthi, the head of the group’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee, added.

He said the Houthis had unilaterally withdrawn from three Red Sea ports and he accused the Saudi-led coalition of failing to reciprocate.

There was no immediate reaction to his statement from Riyadh which has not yet recognized the port pull-out.

Saudi state media上海夜网 reported that the kingdom had on Sunday intercepted another missile armed with explosives that it said had been fired by the Houthis towards the southern airport of Jizan.

The coalition has responded to the renewed drone attacks with air strikes on Houthi military sites in Sanaa.

The Houthis, who still hold the main urban centers, say their revolution is against corruption and have long rejected reports that they are acting as Iran’s proxy against Saudi Arabia.

The war has killed tens of thousand,上海晚上耍女人的地方Barney,s of people and pushed the poorest Arabian Peninsula nation to the brink of famine.

Trump loyalist Pompeo faces North Korea challenge as top diplomat

WASHINGTON ( ) – CIA Director Mike Pompeo may have developed personal chemistry with President Donald Trump by delivering his crucial morning intelligence briefings, praising him publicly and embracing his hard-line views on issues ranging from North Korea to Iran.

But with Pompeo tapped to become secretary of state, some U.S. officials and analysts worry about what they see as the Repub,上海夜网千花Oakley,lican former congressman’s habit of telling Trump what he wants to hear, especially as the administration prepares for an unprecedented summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Pompeo would bring a number of assets to his new role as the top U.S. diplomat – Trump’s confidence, government experience and an insider’s knowledge of Congress and the federal bureaucracy – if confirmed by the U.S. Senate to replace Rex Tillerson, supporters say.

He also would surely benefit from being more in sync with Trump, who has often been at odds with Tillerson, and would likely be seen by foreign leaders as a more credible surrogate for the president.

At the same time, however, there is concern that as a hawkish Trump loyalist, Pompeo could further harden the president’s foreign policy positions, make it harder for more moderate views to get an airing in the Oval Office and complicate delicate diplomatic efforts with North Korea.

While some intelligence officers have been impres上海夜网sed by Pompeo’s intellect and his advocacy of more robust covert operations, others have said privately that he has used his face-to-face briefings with Trump to selectively feed him intelligence rather than providing unvarnished assessments.

Pompeo, for instance, has tended to play down the intelligence community’s findings of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and to stress Iran’s missile develop,上海夜网Rachel,ment and role in Middle East conflicts instead of its adherence to the 2015 nuclear deal, some officials have said.

“Pompeo was the most political CIA director in memory,” an administration official said on condition of anonymity.

“He dived into policy matters in a way that unnerved many professionals at the agency,” the official added, “and morale was taking a blow that was spreading from the analytical side, where some people feared he was tailoring some PDBs (President’s Daily Briefs) to tell Trump what he wanted to hear rather than what the intelligence assessments were.”

However, unlike Tillerson, a former businessman who lacked government experience when Trump picked him last year as secretary of state, Pompeo is well aware of the ways of Washington.

Current and former officials said Pompeo, 54, was likely to get along better with Congress and with the White House, not least because of his conservative bent.

TACKLING TRUMP-KIM SUMMIT

A former U.S. Army officer and Harvard Law School g,上海新夜网龙凤Tallulah,raduate who represented a Kansas district in the U.S. House of Representatives before being tapped to lead the CIA, Pompeo will face the task of grappling with a boss who has shown little regard for diplomacy and no qualms about undermining Tillerson with Twitter posts.

One of Pompeo’s biggest challenges would be gaining the trust of a State Department shaken by the departures of many senior diplomats and embittered by proposed budget cuts.

While State Department officers may be pleased to have a new boss who has the president’s ear, they will be watching closely to see if he breaks with Tillerson’s much-criticized approach of relying on a tight inner circle of aides and marginalizing many career diplomats.

But no bigger test awaits Pompeo, who as CIA director earlier had advocated closer consideration of military options against Pyongyang, than the role he plays in putting together the Trump-Kim summit, a potential breakthrough in the tense standoff over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Trump agreed last week to such a meeting, surprising Tillerson and other senior aides, and key questions about venue, exact timing and expectations remain unanswered. Pompeo recently warned that North Korea was “a handful of months” away from being able to carry out an attack on the United States with a nuclear-tipped missile.

“Firing your secretary of state right before an unprecedented summit with North Korea is not smart and suggests Trump cannot act strategically,” said Jon Wolfsthal, who served as senior director for arms control and non-proliferation at the National Security Council under former President Barack Obama.

“Pompeo may be more effective at running State than his predecessor, but he is not prepared to manage the regional or global policy coordination needed to help the summit with Kim succeed,” he said.

Daniel Russel, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asia and the Pacific until last April and now at the Asia Society Policy Institute, said Tillerson’s replacement by Pompeo could be positive for dialogue with North Korea.

“The North Koreans see in the Trump administration a political landscape that they can identify with,” he said. “They see a domineering leader who retains the final word on all decision-making and whose subordinates are guided by the leader and not vice versa.”

However, Evans Revere, a former senior U.S. diplomat who dealt with North Korea under former President George W. Bush, said Pompeo’s “partisanship” was a cause for concern.

“Let’s hope that he puts his dedication to the mission and to the country before his partisan or personal loyalty to the president,” Revere said.

Ahead of UK visit, Trump praises Brexit-supporting ‘friends’…

WASHINGTON/LONDON ( ) – U.S. President Donald Trump lauded Britain’s most high-profile Brexit supporters – Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage – as his friends on Thursday, weighing into Britain’s political crisis just days before his state visit to London.

Trump told reporters he had great respect for Johnson and Farage and considered them friends, but declined to say whether he supported Johnson to succeed Theresa May, who is stepping down as prime minister after failing to steer the country out of the European Union.

“Nigel Farage is a friend of mine. Boris is a friend of mine,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House to deliver a speech in Colorado.

“I like them … but I haven’t thought about supporting them. Maybe it’s not my business to support people, but I have a lot of respect for both of those men.”

Johnson is a former foreign minister seen as the favourite to replace May after she steps down as Conservative Party leader on June 7. He has said Britain should be prepared to leave the bloc without a deal, arguing that stance would force the EU to offer it ,上海夜网千花Kade,better terms.

Farage, who led the unofficial campaign to leave the EU in the 2016 Brexit referendum, wants to leave the bloc without any agreement.

When asked about Brexit, Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton said the United States remained Britain’s most steadfast ally and dismissed questions about the security implications of leaving the bloc.

“You know, America declared its independence once – we made out okay,” Bolton quipped to reporters in London.

‘NO-DEAL BREXIT’?

Related CoverageHammond would back national interest over party in any Brexit confidence voteFactbox – How will Britain’s Conservative Party choose PM May’s successor?See more stories

Britain’s finance minister warned those in his party vying for May’s job that a no-deal Brexit would endanger the economy.

The Brexit crisis that h,上海夜网后花园Octavia,as engulfed British politics for months has deepened with the impending departure of May, who was unable to get parliamentary approval for the withdrawal deal she had negotiated with Brussels.

A new Conservative Party leader, who should be in place and take over the premiership by the end of July, is likely to want a more decisive split, raising the chances of a confrontation with the EU and potentially a snap parliamentary election.

“We need to get the spectre of a no-deal exit off the table,” finance minister Philip Hammond told the BBC. “Leaving with no deal would be a very bad outcome for the economy.”

Hammond, underlining his view on a no deal, indicated he could be prepared to vote to collapse his party’s government if he felt it was heading in the wrong direction.

The United Kingdom was supposed to have left the EU on March 29 but its politicians are still arguing over how, when or even whether the country will leave the club it joined in 1973.

That political failure caused car production to plunge last month as factories shut down in expectation of a Brexit that never came, according to data published on Thursday.

An exit – currently due to happen on Oct. 31 – without a deal would mean no transition period. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said the disruption could 上海夜生活be akin to the 1970s oil shock.

May’s government has repeatedly warned of the disruption a ,上海新夜网龙凤Lark,no-deal Brexit would cause for everything from travel with pets to the import of crucial medicines and supply chains that criss-cross Europe and beyond.

Opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the danger of a no deal had risen with May’s departure announcement, and pledged to do everything he could to stop it.

Brexit supporters admit there may be some short-term effects but say that in the long term the United Kingdom would thrive outside what they cast as an undemocratic and excessively bureaucratic system dominated by Germany.

UK’s Fox says would be surprised if EU refuses to renegotiate…

CAIRO ( ) – British trade minister Liam Fox said on Tuesday he would be surprised if the European Union did not agree to attempts to renegotiate the country’s exit deal, and that it was up to both sides to avoid a no-deal exit.

Prime Minister Theresa May, who failed three times to get the deal approved by parliament, has said she will resign on June 7 and several of those vying 上海夜生活论坛to replace her have said they plan to seek changes to the agreement.

“If the EU doesn’t want to negotiate any changes – which I think would be unfortunate and I thi,上海夜生活群Nala,nk would be quite surprising – then I think that of course does increase the chance of a no deal exit,” Fox said during a trade visit to Egypt.

Fox was in Egypt after Bombardier [BBDb.TO], which has a manufacturing base in Britain, was named as the preferred bidder for a 3 billion euro ($3.35 billion) monorail in Egypt.

Britain is due to leave the EU with or without a deal on Oct. 31, and the EU has repeatedly said its position is not open for renegotiation.

But, Fox said: “It’s in everybody’s,上海夜生活服务Jacob, interests that we try to find a compromise agreement that enables us to leave with stability, with predictability for our European partne,上海夜网后花园Dallas,rs as well as for the UK itself.”

Fox, a long-standing Brexit advocate who supported May’s deal, said he had not made up his mind on who to support in the leadership contest – a race which has so far centered on whether candidates are prepared to pursue a no-deal exit if necessary.

Asked about the different candidates’ views on no-deal, he said: “What is clear is that leaving without a deal is better than not leaving at all. That, I think is where there is common ground in the leadership of the Conservative Party.”

Explainer: Why might Israel be heading to another snap election?

JERUSALEM ( ) – Israel moved closer towards a new national election on Monday as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struggled to form a government only six weeks after winning an April ballot.

Here are the reasons and implications:

WHEN WILL THE ELECTION BE HELD?

Parliament’s vote on Monday to dissolve itself was only preliminary, meaning a,上海夜生活乌托邦Barbara, solution to the crisis in coalition talks could still be reached and an election averted. If that does not occur by the Wednesday deadline, the Knesset would proceed with three more votes needed to finalize its own dissolution and schedule an election to take place within five months.

WHY DID PARLIAMENT VOTE TO DISSOLVE?

After the April 9 election, Neta,上海高端夜生活在那里Nadia,nyahu won the mandate from Israel’s president to form the next government, backed by a right-wing and religious majority of factions in the Knesset. But coalition talks are at a deadlock. If he fails to announce a new administration on Wednesda,上海夜生活论坛Caitlin,y, President Reuven Rivlin can choose another lawmaker to try. That could open the way for former military chief Benny Gantz, leader of Likud’s rival, centrist Blue and White party, to get the nod. Parliament’s dissolution and a new election would pre-empt that.

WHY DID NETANYAHU FAIL TO FORM A GOVERNMENT?

Netanyahu is facing possible indictment in three corruption cases, in which he has denied all wrongdoing. That has made him more politically vulnerable to demands by prospective coalition partners.

Divisions that have emerged between former Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party and Netanyahu’s Likud together with United Torah Judaism over a military conscription bill governing exemptions for ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students have plunged the coalition talks into stalemate. The April election was brought forward from November 2019 over the same sticking point.

But some commentators and members of Netanyahu’s Likud party have suggested Lieberman’s real motive is to ultimately succeed the veteran leader and that he is using the conscription bill and coalition stalemate to weaken him politically.

Lieberman has denied this.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT?

The situation could spell a delay to U.S. President Donald Trump’s new peace plan. Trump’s team, headed by his Middle East adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, is set to unveil its peace plan at an international investment conference in Bahrain in late June. Prospects for a breakthrough are already dim and an Israeli election could put off the plan even further because Trump may want to wait until a government is in place before he moves forward. Trump has touted the plan as the “deal of the century” but Palestinian officials have already spurned the U.S. effort, which they believe will be heavily biased in favor of Israel.

WHO WOULD BE NETANYAHU’S MAIN ELECTION CHALLENGER?

Benny Gantz, a popular former general, in the last election emerged as a real political threat to Netanyahu.

He heads the nascent Blue and White party, which – riding a campaign of clean government, peace and security – won 35 seats in the Knesset, the same as Netanyahu’s Likud.

HOW WOULD AN ELECTION AFFECT NETANYAHU’S LEGAL PREDICAMENT?

It could mean bad news for Netanyahu.

The Knesset’s dissolution could stall moves currently floated by Likud to have parliament grant him immunity from prosecution, leaving the way open for his possible indictment while in office. Israel’s attorney-general has said he intends to charge Netan上海夜生活网yahu with bribery and fraud pending a pre-trial hearing, scheduled for October.

Netanyahu has vowed not to resign, even if indicted, and he is under no legal obligation to do so.

BJP consolidates big vote win in West Bengal with opposition…

NEW DELHI ( ) – Three opposition state assembly members and more than 50 municipal leaders from West Bengal joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party on Tuesday, days after he was re-elected with big gains in places like the populous eastern state.

The defections came as opposition parties in states such as Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan scrambled to stop their regional legislators from switching to Modi’s powerful Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

With a near two-thirds majority secured in the 545-member lower house of parliament, the BJP is now targeting state assemblies to consolidate its power.

It is the state assemblies that elect members of the upper house of parliament, where Modi’s ruling coalition does not have the majority necessary to pass contentious legislation.

“We don’t want to topple the state government, but their own people want come to us,” Kailash Vijayvargiya, a BJP national general secretary, said after the new members of the party were introduced to the media in New Delhi.

“They don’t want to stay with their party. We won’t stop them.”

West Bengal,上海夜生活服务Jacob, sends the third-largest number of members to the lower house of parliament and was a battleground state in the recently concluded general election.

The BJP won 18 of 42 seats there, compared with just two five years ago.

Almost all the people joining the BJP on Tuesday were from the Trinamool Congress, led by the state’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, who is one of Modi’s biggest critics.

Modi said during campaigning last month that at least 40 Trinamool state lawmakers were in touch with him and would leave the party soon.

Trinamool has an absolute majority in the West Bengal assembly and there is no threat to the government there.

But Vijayvargiya told abou,上海夜生活网419Hadrian,t 10 more West Bengal state lawmakers could join the BJP before a stat,上海夜生活桑拿会所Jackson,e assembly election there in 2021.

A Trinamool official said the people of West Bengal were still with Banerjee. 上海夜生活网

The BJP and Trinamool are bitter rivals and clashes between their supporters forced the Election Commission to halt campaigning in the state a day early.

Assange suffering psychological torture, would face “show trial” in…

GENEVA ( ) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has suffered psychological torture from a defamation campaign and should not be extradited to the United States where he would face a “politicized show trial”, a U.N. human rights investigator said on Friday.

Nils Melzer, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture who visited Assange in a high-security London prison on May 9 along with two medical experts, said that he found him agitated, under severe stress and unable to cope with his complex legal case.

,上海夜生活乌托邦Gabriel,

“Our finding was that Mr. Assange shows all the symptoms of a person who has been exposed to psychological torture for a prolonged period of time. The psychiatrist who accompanied my mission said that his state of health was critical,” Melzer told in an interview in Geneva.

“But my understanding is that he has now been hospitalized and that he is not able to stand trial,” he said.

Assange was too ill on Thursday to appear via video link from a British prison in a hearing on an extradition request from the United States, his lawyer Gareth Peirce told . He is in a health ward.

“Mr. Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture,” Melzer said in a statement.

The Swiss law professor declined to identify judges or senior politicians whom he accused of defaming Assange, saying “dozens if not hundreds of individuals” had expressed themselves inappropriately.

“Here we are not speaking of prosecution but of persecution. That means that judicial power, institutions and proceedings are being deliberately abused for ulterior motives,” he added.

British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt, in a tweet posted within minutes of Melzer’s statement, said: “This is wrong. Assange chose to hide in the embassy and was always free to leave and face justice.

“The UN Special Rapporteur should allow British courts to make their judgments without his interference or inflammatory accusations,” he said.

“POLITICIZED SHOW TRIAL”

Assange made headlines in 2010 when WikiLeaks published a classified U.S. military video showing a 2007 attack by Apache helicopters in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, including two news staff.

Washington is seeking the extradition of Assange, who was dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London on April 11 after his seven-year asylum was revoked, for one of the biggest ever leaks of classified information.

The Australian, now 47, had skipped bail and taken refuge there in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over a sexual assault investigation later dropped. Sweden reopened the investigation in early May. Assange denies the rape allegation.

The United States has charged Assange with espionage, saying he unlawfully published the names of classified sources and conspired with and assisted ex-Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in obtaining access to classified information. He faces 18 U.S. criminal counts,上海夜哪里艳遇Tabitha, and decades in prison if convicted.

“I am seriously, gravely concerned that ,上海夜网Kaiden,if this man were to be extradited to the United States, he would be exposed to a politicized show trial and grave violations of his human rights,” Melzer said.

“The main narrative in this affair really is the United States wanting to make an example of Mr. Assange in order to deter other people from following his example,” he said.

Melzer did not expect U.S. authorities to subject Assange to p上海夜生活网hysical torture such as water-boarding during interrogations.

“I would much more expect him to be subjected to prolonged solitary confinement, to very harsh detention conditions and to a psychological environment which would break him eventually.”

Fights erupt, 12 arrested ahead of white nationalist’s speech in…

EAST LANSING, Mich. ( ) – A least a dozen people were arrested on Monday after supporters of Richard Spencer clashed with protesters outside a Michigan college campus where the white n,上海夜网推油Sabine,ationalist was scheduled to speak.

Among those arrested were 上海夜生活论坛Gregory Conte, director of operations for Spencer’s organization, the National Policy Institute, according to Evan McLaren, the group’s executive director.

Fistfights broke out on a road leading to Michigan State University in East Lansing as about 40 backers of Spencer walked up a road leading to the campus, where roughly 500 demonstrators had gathered, surrounding an armored police vehicle.

Police in riot gear quickly stepped in to break up the altercation, handcuffing six or seven people, then forming a skirmish line along the roadside to prevent further clashes.

But sporadic fisticuffs continued to erupt outside the campus as officers escorted attendees into the building in small groups.

Media representatives for the university could not immediately be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for the Michigan State Police said the department was assisting with crowd control but declined to say how many people had been detained or arrested.

“These people are scum. We chased them away. This is our free speech being exercised,” said David Sherman, 25, who drove to the campus from Indianapolis to protest Spencer’s event.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors U.S. hate groups, lists Spencer as “a radical white separatist whose goal is the establishment of a white ethno-state in Nor,上海夜生活去哪玩Cadence,th America.”

An outspoken supporter of Trump during the 2016 campaign, Spencer rose from relative obscurity after widely circulated videos showed some Trump supporters giving Nazi-style salutes to Spencer during a gathering in Washington to celebrate the Republican candidate’s win. Trump condem,上海021夜网Eden,ned the meeting.

In October, protests broke out as Spencer gave a speech at the University of Florida in Gainsville.

Two months earlier, a 20-year-old man said by law enforcement to harbor Nazi sympathies drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters after white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing a 32-year-old woman.

Britain says more than 750,000 EU nationals have applied to stay in…

LONDON ( ) – More than 750,000 European Union citizens have applied to remain living in Britain after it leaves the bloc, interior minister Sajid Javid said on Thursday.

The issue of what would happen to the more than 3 million EU nationals living in Britain was one of the first to be tackled in divorce talks with the bloc. Britain has said EU citizens have until at least Dec. 31, 2020 to apply for “settled status” whether or not an exit deal with the EU is approved.

Britain is currently due to leave on Oct. 31, but Prime Minister Theresa May is stepping down after failing to get her exit deal approved by parliament and those vying to replace her are divided over whether to seek changes to that deal.

“EU citizens are our friends, neighbors and colleagues who contribute so much to this country. Whatever the outcome of Brexit we want them to stay,” Javid said in a statement, adding that the scheme had so far seen 750,000 applications.

Figures released by his department showed a total of 621,400 people had applied by the end of April, with 389,900 of those received in the first month after the scheme was launched fully ,上海会所夜网Naia,on March 30 and the rest submitted during a test phase which began in August last year.

Under the EU Settlement Scheme, EU citizens who have lived continuously in Britain for five years can be granted settled status, giving th上海夜生活em the same rights to work, study and access benefits and services as they ,上海夜生活论坛Easton,currently do.

Polish nationals accounted for the biggest group, with 103,200 having applied so far, follow,上海夜网邀请码Ida,ed by 89,900 Romanians and 70,800 Italians, the government said.

A total of 445,000 applications have been concluded, with a third of those given settled status. The rest were given “pre-settled” status, and can apply for settled status when they hit the five-year mark.

Ex-ministers who quit Trudeau government will run as independents…

MARKHAM, Ontario ( ) – Two former ministers who quit Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government this year over his handling of a scandal said on Monday they would run as independents in an election this October.

Jody Wilson-Raybould and J,上海夜哪里艳遇Radcliff,ane Philpott resigned amid allegations that senior Trudeau officials tried to i,上海夜生活怎么玩Ebba,nterfere in a corporate corruption case by leaning on Wilson-Raybo,夜上海论坛Ebba,uld when she was justice 上海夜生活论坛minister.

Trudeau, facing the biggest crisis of his tenure, later kicked them out of the ruling Liberal caucus, citing their lack of support.

Both women, speaking at separate events, said they would press for more openness in Ottawa and also stressed the importance of fighting climate change.

They face serious challenges. Canadian politics is dominated by the major parties and very few legislators are elected as independents, in part because they lack resources to raise funds and campaign.

That said, if one or both of them succeed, they could have some influence. Polls indicate the result of the election might well be a minority government, which means the prime minister will need the support of legislators from outside his party to govern.

“In the right circumstances of course I would support a minority government in the broad sense,” Philpott said after making her announcement in Markham, a town north of Toronto.

Philpott only just won her parliamentary constituency for the Liberals in the 2015 election that brought Trudeau to power and on paper the official opposition Conservatives would look to be favorites for her seat.

Wilson-Raybould pulled off a much more comfortable victory in British Columbia and looks to have the better chance.

She told reporters she would “work with whichever government is in power as well as with all members of parliament, no matter their political stripe, for the betterment … of our country.”

Bolsonaro supporters march to pressure Brazil’s Congress

SAO PAULO/RIO DE JANEIRO ( ) – Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro marched on Sunday in support of his agenda and against lawmakers whom they see standing in his way, adding to tensions between the far-right 上海夜网leader and Congress.

Although official crowd estimates were scarce, the demonstrations appeared smaller than May 15 protests against Bolsonaro’s planned spending freeze on education, which sent tens of thousands into the streets in around 200 cities, Brazil’s largest protests in Brazil since Bolsonaro took office.

On Sunday, there were pro-government rallies in at least 156 cities, according to news website G1.

Bolsonaro easily won election last year, but since taking office on Jan. 1 his popularity has fallen in several polls. A survey released on Friday showed more Brazilians disapprove of his government than approve, a sharp swing in public opinion but evidently not enough to turn off core supporters.

Those in the streets on Sunday argued that Brazil’s corrupt political system has not allowed Bolsonaro to push through his legislative agenda and make progress in critical areas like security, education and the,上海夜玩网论坛Talon, economy. They say that Bolsonaro is standing by his core pledge to not engage in the traditional political horse trading in Brasilia that is largely blamed for stunning levels of corruption in the nation’s political class.

Bolsonaro initially considered participating in the demonstrations, before deciding against it and recommending the government’s ministers not to join. Rhetoric from some organizers challenging the authority of Congress and the Supreme Court also turned off members of the president’s party and other allies.

Still, Bolsonaro tweeted a half dozen times about the marches on Sunday and in a TV interview called them “the people’s spontaneous manifestation.”

The president said he wanted to work with Congress, but had stern words for the broad centrist bloc of parties known as the “Centrao,” which he said had no good reason to exist.

“Lawmakers need to distance themselves from that. It’s pejorative to be classified as in the middle, negotiating for jobs in the ministries, state firms and banks,” he said.

Bolsonaro suggested that he wanted states to set their own policies for mineral rights, environment controls and even the penal code instead of waiting for legislation from Brasilia.

COPACABANA PROTEST

In Rio de Janeiro, most demonstrators in the famous Copacabana Beach wore Brazil soccer team t-shirts and protested against House Speaker Rodrigo Maia and the Supreme Court.

“Maia needs to wake up and help the country,” Jose Antonio de Souza told while demonstrating in Copacabana.

Demonstrators brought an inflatable doll of Maia with logos of companies accused of paying him bribes, alongside an inflatable doll of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva dressed in a striped jail suit, known as “Pixuleco”.

The former president has been convicted of accepting bribes. The house speaker has not been char,上海夜生活Fabi,ged with such crimes. Maia’s allies have called Bolsonaro anti-democratic for demonizing Brasilia’s political class.

Speaking in a church in Rio on Sunday, Bolsonaro said the demonstrations were a re,上海仙霞路夜生活Gabriella,sponse “to those that insist on keeping old practices and do not allow the people to be free”.

Bolsonaro rode to power last year on campaign promises to end a culture of political corruption, crack down on crime and kick off an economic recovery by overhauling the social security system. The first months of his government have been marked by infighting in the cabinet and strained relations with Congress.

“I have voted years for the left, but I am now worried about the future of the country,” said protester Carley Farias. “I hope the demonstrations influence Congress.”

U.S. wants new trade pact with Canada, Mexico passed by summer: Pence

OTTAWA ( ) – U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Thursday he was pushing to get the U.S. Congress to ratify the new North American trade agreement this summer after both Canada and Mexico signaled they are ready to start ,上海高端夜生活在那里Radley,the approval process.

Pence, the Trump administration’s point person for getting the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) approved by Congress, played down concern about Democratic opposition to the deal after a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa.

The deal, which was signed late last year, is meant to replace the existing North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It has yet to be ratified by any of the three countries.

Canada formally began the process on Wednesday and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday announced his government’s intention to send the treaty to Mexico’s Congress for ratification.

“Issues in Washington, D.C. can arise, but the American people should know, the people of Canada should know, that our administration is absolutely committed to driving forward, to seeing the Congress of the United States approve the USMCA this summer,” Pence said after meeting with Trudeau.

Pence’s trip is the first official visit to Canada by a senior member of the Trump administration since President Donald Trump stormed out of a G7 summit hosted by Trudeau last year and accused the prime minister of being “dishonest and weak.”

Related CoverageFactbox: Tariff wars – duties imposed by Trump and U.S. trading partnersMexico says North American trade deal could double investment in 2019

Th,上海夜生活桑拿会所Eden,e vice president has been traveling through U.S. states dependent on trade with Canada and Mexico to make the case for the deal, which faces a tricky path ahead of presidential and congressional elections next year.

Last week, Trump fought with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will control the timing of any initial vote on the trade deal, over her party’s investigations of his administration. He also said Pelosi does not understand the agreement.

Some lawmakers in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives have said the deal needs stronger enforcement provisions for new labor and environmental standards.

But on Thursday Pence struck an optimistic tone, emphasizing that the administration would work with rank-and-file lawmakers to advance the deal. Pence also said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would be on Capitol Hill next week to work on implementation legislation for the treaty.

Just after meeting Trudeau, Pence confirmed that the White House submitted a statement of administrative action to the U.S. Congress to speed up a vote on the treaty, prompting Pelosi to say it was “not a positive step.”

Pence then responded to Pelosi saying he thought the administrative action would facilitate discussions with lawmakers and help get the legislation implemented.

On his part, Trudeau said he hopes Democratic lawmakers see the improvements in the deal on labor and environmental provisions.

“We made sure that from multiple angles this was a better deal,” Trudeau said.

CHINA TENSIONS

Pence and Trudeau also discussed relations with China, which is embroiled in a trade war with the United States and sparring with Canada over the arrest of a senior executive of China-based Huawei Technologies Co Ltd in Vancouver.

Canadian authorities arrested Me上海夜生活论坛ng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms network gear maker, on a U.S. warrant in December. China subsequently arrested two Canadian men and charged them with espionage and cut off imports of key Canadian commodities.

The U.S. vice president thanked Canada for standing up for the rule of law when it detained Meng, who is the daughter of Huawei’s founder. He also said they discussed the arrest of the two Canadians extensively, and that Trump will speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping about them at the G20 meeting in Japan at the end of June.

“We’re going to continue to urge China to release the Canadian citizens even while we deal with the larger economic and structural issues,” Pence said.

Washington has accused Huawei of being tied to China’s government, and has effectively banned U.S. firms from doing business with the company for national security reasons.

Separately, Pence said the U.S. government and Canada should work together to hold Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accountable and expose the “malign influence” of Cuba, while Trudeau insisted that Cuba could still play a positive role in Venezuela.

As promised on Wednesday, Trudeau raised his concern about women’s rights and “the new anti-choice laws being passed in a number of American states” with Pence, a social conservative and opponent of abortion.

Pence said the conversation was respectful, adding: “Friends can have differences of opinion and still b,上海夜网千花Octava,e friends.”

Japan says Russia supports its plan to help ease U.S.-Iran tensions

TOKYO ( ) – Russia expressed support for Japan’s intention to play a role in helping ease tensions between Iran and the United States, an official in Tokyo said on Thursday after a meeting of Japan and Russia’s foreign a上海夜生活论坛nd defense ministers.

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s help in dealing with Iran, after Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that Abe was considering a trip to Tehran as early as mid-June.

“Traditionally Japan has had friendly ties with Iran,” a Japanese Foreign Ministry official told a media briefing after the meeting of the four ministers.

“There were comments from the Japanese side that Japan aims to play a role by taking advantage of such ties. The Russian side made a very positive comment in response,” the official said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has denied the NHK report aired last Friday, but most major Japanese newspapers have followed up with similar reports since then.

Trump withdrew the United States a year ago from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and global powers under which Tehran curbe,上海夜哪里艳遇Dahlia,d its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief.

Since then, Trump has ratcheted up sanctions on Iran, seeking to reduce its ,上海夜生活网419Nadine,lifeblood oil exports to zero, to push Tehran into fresh negotiations on a broader arms control deal.

Te,上海凤楼夜网Jacob,nsions have risen between Iran and the United States after attacks this month on oil tankers in the Gulf region. Washington, a backer of Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, has blamed the attacks on Iran, which denies the accusations.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will hold a one-to-one meeting on Friday.

Microsoft, Facebook to help tame internet ahead of Canada’s…

OTTAWA ( ) – Microsoft Corp and Facebook Inc have agreed to help boost the security of Canada’s October election by removing fake accounts and cracking down on bots, a top government official said on Monday.

Last month the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau complained that the world’s major social media companies were not doing enough to help combat potential foreign meddling in the vote and said Ottawa might have to regulate them.

Democratic Institutions Minis上海夜生活网ter Karina Gould told legislators that the two companies had made commitments in a voluntary declaration on electoral integrity.

“The Wild West online era cannot continue – inaction is not an option. Disinformation must not stand,”,上海仙霞路夜生活Hal, said Gould, repeating the threat to crack down on the firms if necessary.

Government officials say they fear bad actors – some linked to Russia – will try to inter,上海夜生活乌托邦Idris,fere in the vote.

“The malicious, multi-faceted and ever-evolving tactics constitute a serious strategic threat,” said Gould.

Microsoft and Facebook had also agreed to intensify efforts to combat disinformation, promote safeguards to address cyber security incidents and explain their rules about accepting political advertising, Gould said.

“I urge other platforms to follow suit in the coming days,” she added in a clear reference to Twitter Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google.

Asked how she could ensure compliance given that the declaration is non-binding, Gould said the keen interest of the public, media and political parties would hold these platforms to account in the short term.

“I think they have an absolute interest to be good actors in the Canadian democratic space, and if that is not the case then we will be coming back with stronger regulatory reforms,” she told reporters, without giving further details.

Sources told earl,上海夜生活论坛Rachel,ier this month that Canadian security services were alarmed by what they see as a potential weakness in political parties’ cyber networks.

Polls suggest the Liberals could lose the election to the official opposition Conservatives.

Spain’s Socialists win EU ballot, local vote fragmented

MADRID ( ) – Spain’s Socialists won most votes in European and local elections on Sunday in a series of ballots that boosted their ambitions to target a top EU job in Brussels but highlighted how deeply fragmented the political landscape is at home.

After winning national elections in April without a majority, the acting prime ,上海夜网千花Rachel,minister, Pedro Sanchez, was looking to Sunday’s local, regional and EU elections to reinforce his negotiating stance to form a government.

On the上海夜生活网 EU front, the Socialists scored a strong win.

Sanchez’ PSOE party topped the European election and was on course to have the biggest contingent in the EU assembly’s Socialist group.

On the local front it is more complic,上海会所夜网Lance,ated. The Socialists won more votes than any other party nationwide but the election was very fragmented and conservatives and the center-right and far-right together were set to win in key cities and regions like Madrid.

This set the stage for complicated talks to form governments both at local and national level.

Sunday’s election “confirmed that the Socialists are, by far, the first political force in Spain,” Sanchez said at a news conference, talking of his “pride” over the EU result.

Turning to local and regional elections, Sanch,上海高端夜生活在那里Fabi,ez reached out to the center-right Ciudadanos and conservative People’s Party (PP), urging them to strike deals with his party rather than with the far-right Vox.

“I appeal to the responsibility of national political leaders not to leave the stability of municipal and regional governments in the hands of the far right,” he said.

The outcome provides a more mixed picture than the April 28 general election, said political sciences professor Pablo Simon. He said the Socialists could be happy with their wins but that PP had won some oxygen, while Ciudadanos failed to consolidate their claim to be the main opposition party.

With more than 99% of the votes counted, the Socialists had scored nearly 30% in the municipal elections. PP came in second with just over 22%.

Voting in Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, also was very fragmented. The ERC separatist party came first but it was unclear who could form a majority to rule the municipality.

Regarding regional elections, the Socialists overall improved or maintained their score but will also need to strike alliances to govern.

TOP EU JOB?

The Socialists won 20 seats in the European Parliament, PP 12, Ciudadanos seven and Vox three.

Spain has long punched below its weight in Brussels, dragged down by the economic crisis and a bigger focus on domestic issues, but sees in its better economic results, combined with Brexit and with Italy’s woes, a chance to make a comeback.

Madrid is likely to aim for the EU’s top foreign policy job and for a vice presidency at the European Commission, government sources have said in recent days.

“Spain is going to fight to have a position according to our new weight in Europe,” a government source told ahead of what promises to be a tough battle on the bloc’s coveted senior jobs amid a fragmented political landscape.

Catalan separatist leaders Carles Puigdemont and Oriol Junqueras both won EU seats, but with question marks over whether they can become EU lawmakers.

Puigdemont lives in self-imposed exile in Belgium and would be arrested over his role in a 2017 independence bid in Catalonia if he sets foot in Spain to complete the formalities to get his EU seat.

Junqueras is in jail during his trial over the independence attempt.